Winter 2021 Anime First Impressions

The winter 2021 anime season feels a bit like life in general: Things are starting to get back to normal. Many delayed series are finally airing both among the host of sequels about to stream and brand new shows as well. And so, as usual, that means there are anime we think we’ll know, whether because of a previous cour or the source material, and originals we may discover later. To get a bit of a head start, I recommend you check out our season preview post—but read it soon, for the new season is upon us!

And continue to check back with this post as the new series air. We’ll be adding links to our first impression posts and giving even further thoughts below. We’d love to hear your feedback, too, so let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section.

BACK ARROWBottom-Tier Character TomozakiCells at Work!! S2Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist-Dr. StoneGekidolHeaven’s Design TeamThe Hidden Dungeon Only I Can EnterHorimiyaHortensia SagaLaid-Back Camp S2Mushoku Tensei: Jobless ReincarnationNon Non Biyori S3Otherside PicnicThe Promised Neverland / for Manga ReadersThe Quintessential Quintuplets S2SK8 the InfinitySkate-Leading☆StarsSo I’m a Spider, So What?Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter TownWonder Egg Priority

BACK ARROW

First Impression: Twwk

“The world-building is interesting, with a wall as mysterious as Attack on Titan’s but even more hallowed; a conflict between big, technologically-advanced civilizations and smaller, tribal groups; a kingdom that is based on Chinese ones and a clan based on the old west; mecha units with a really interesting twist with the weaving in of “conviction”; and a hilarious lead character.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki

First Impression: Jeskai Angel

“As a big fan of the light novel series, I’ve been looking forward to this adaptation, and the first episode didn’t disappoint. Many aspects of the story, from Atafami to Hinami’s coaching (which involves things like posture, facial expression, and tone of voice), get a new lease on life in a medium with art and sound.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Cells at Work!! S2

“If you liked the first season, then season 2 will be right up your alley; it picks up right where the first season left off, and even new comers won’t feel too lost watching. As for me, I think I’ll stick around for a while…I just hope that it doesn’t get TOO repetitive—both for my sake as the viewer, and for the body our dear cells are inhabiting. I mean, good grief, this body really needs some Vitamin C or something.”

First Impression: Josh

“As a big fan of the light novel series, I’ve been looking forward to this adaptation, and the first episode didn’t disappoint. Many aspects of the story, from Atafami to Hinami’s coaching (which involves things like posture, facial expression, and tone of voice), get a new lease on life in a medium with art and sound.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist-

First Impression: Josh

“If you can get past the somewhat cliché first episode, I do believe that there could be some good to be found here. The characters are funny enough to keep you coming back, and if the second episode preview is to be believed, things are going to be getting really interesting really quickly!”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Dr. Stone

First Impression: Josh

This first episode of the new season is awesome. It doesn’t skip a beat from where the last season ended, yet it does a great job giving the viewer a CliffsNotes version of the last 24 episodes, while setting everything up for the “War” that’s to come. I find that, when you have a show with a long gap between the seasons, the first episode back feels boring—like we have to go through all the character introductions again, we have to find out their motivations, we have to get reminded of all this information that most of the viewing audience already knows. I know why it’s done, but few shows do it RIGHT. Dr. Stone does it perfectly, giving us a reminder of the past, but continuing on with the story proper. No time is wasted.”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Gekidol

First Impression: sleepminusminus

“…the miniature plot twist at the end of this first episode shows that there’s more to Gekidol than cute girls acting. I really enjoyed the visuals of this first episode as well. The dance scenes were captivating and fluid, and the wonderful scenery took a toll on my Print Screen key. If Gekidol can shake off its generic idol-style garments and delve deeper into the mysteries of its world, this show might be a performance worth buying tickets for.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Heaven’s Design Team

First Impression: MDMRN

“Literally the moment I read the synopsis, I was sold on this series. Sure, it’s a bit much, but it’s silly, educational, and fun. Honestly, I could go for a relatively benign series that’s mostly silly fun. Let’s enjoy some edutainment!”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter

First Impression: stardf29

“…I do have to give this show credit for having Noir and Emma kissing in the first ten minutes, something that other shows of this ilk take a whole season to do, if at all. At the same time, this is a show that thinks “Noir creates skill to shrink Emma’s boobs” is a funny joke and that should give you a good idea of how lowbrow this show is.”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Horimiya

First Impression: Twwk

“The light and easy feeling from creating such pleasant characters, combined with engaging writing and strong animation, has me already desiring to spend time with these characters each week and to see how they grow as people and in their relationships with one another. The manga has a strong reputation among fans of manga romance series, and that has me excited, too.”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Hortensia Saga

First Impression: Gaharet

“To see the evil and monstrous Rugis, the proud Roy, and whatever other red-themed villains that come along defeated by our heroes may be a good way of spending twenty minutes a week. Plus, though the Templars are not very Templar-like, I find this young Pope with glasses hinted at the opening intriguing, and I wonder, too, how Hortensia functions as a kingdom. We´ll see.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Laid-Back Camp S2

First Impression: Twwk

“With a returning director and wonderful source material, expect Laid-Back Camp to continue the loveliness and fun from season one as we look toward new locales, lots of silly laughs, developing friendships, and what this episode points toward as well—depth of character that we haven’t yet seen.”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

First Impression: stardf29

“With a returning director and wonderful source material, expect Laid-Back Camp to continue the loveliness and fun from season one as we look toward new locales, lots of silly laughs, developing friendships, and what this episode points toward as well—depth of character that we haven’t yet seen.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Non Non Biyori S3

First Impression: Jeskai Angel

“With a returning director and wonderful source material, expect Laid-Back Camp to continue the loveliness and fun from season one as we look toward new locales, lots of silly laughs, developing friendships, and what this episode points toward as well—depth of character that we haven’t yet seen.”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Otherside Picnic

First Impression: sleepminusminus

“The show seems more interested in extrapolating drama from a tenuous link between its main leads than exploring the intricacies of the world it’s created as a stage for that drama. And the character interactions don’t feel natural at all. Sorao and Toriko are essentially complete strangers, but they act as if they’ve known each other forever, trusting each other with a haste that seems unwise to me.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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The Promised Neverland S2

First Impression: Gaheret

“Things have changed, and the lessons learned are present, but our characters are still as flawed and inexperienced as they are clever, and may go out of balance. The art is spot on (Those colorful flowers at the opening! The executioner-like sword of the oni! The music! The contrasts!). The new world is a wonderful place, mysterious, threatening, evocative and full of wonders, and the new characters are very intriguing…”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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The Promised Neverland S2 (for manga readers)

First Impression: Thathilomgirl

Note: This special, spoiler-filled first-impression is written from a manga reader’s perspective.

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Streaming on Funimation and Hulu in the US, and AnimeLab in Australia.

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The Quintessential Quintuplets S2

First Impression: Samuru

“I liked that this season continues along with the previous story. The animation is still good, and the characters are memorable and funny. I hope they don’t spend a lot of time trying to find out who the mystery girl is, but instead move onto new plot twists or making the drama more intense as so far, I don’t feel there’s any pressure on the relationships between them…”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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SK8 the Infinity

First Impression: Samuru

“I personally enjoyed this one, as I like these gritty and rough shows that include competitions. The characters weren’t very memorable, nor do I truly understand the point of the anime yet, but it’s a different concept. It reminds me a little bit of Airgear, which I didn’t see much of but which had a similar vibe.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Skate-Leading☆Stars

First Impression: Twwk

“…the idea of a team figure skating series (an Olympic competition in 2018) accompanied by some already very fluid animation for the skate scenes could make for a special show. I’m just not sure I’m willing to endure the always-laborious initial shonen episodes to see if it gets there.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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So I’m a Spider, So What?

First Impression: Twwk

“The series quite obviously finds much of its tone in all this oddness, emphasized further by the upbeat and offbeat personality of the protagonist. Your mileage will vary on the spider protagonist and Aoi Yuki’s voicing of her, which was fun but also a bit grating, and this coming from a fan of Yuki’s…”

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Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town

First Impression: Twwk

“…episode one of this series starts out slow and had me ready to bolt (it seem incredibly boring), but it quickly turned into something unexpected. I laughed pretty hard a number of times in the episode, not only at the expected mismatch kind of jokes, but because of the outlandish personalities that more than make up for Lloyd’s mundanity.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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Wonder Egg Priority

First Impression: sleepminusminus

Wonder Egg Priority‘s trying to be a lot of things at once: a show that revives the traditional hero’s journey, a show that tackles issues of depression and social anxiety, a show about ghostly parallel worlds. If it can pick one of these roles and stick with it to the end, it’ll be enshrined among the greats. But only time will tell.”

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Streaming on Funimation.

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3 thoughts on “Winter 2021 Anime First Impressions

  1. […] Dr. Stone can be streamed (subbed) through Crunchyroll. The 1st Season is available in Sub and Dub formats on Funimation. The Manga is available on Viz Media. We can be found on Twitter. Read our thoughts on all the new winter anime series, in addition to comments from our other writers, on our winter 2020 anime first impression master post. […]

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